Is Willie Nelson an Orthodox Christian?

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I just noticed this discussion over at the Seventh Sola blog about whether or not Willie Nelson is a Bible-believing Christian. Apparently Willie offered a marijuana offering to Jesus, or some such thing.

I think I can safely settle this. No.

Now, nobody sings “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” better than Willie. But he’s a syncretistic, hedonistic follower of Eastern religions, with reincarnation and the whole mix. He also famously sang, erroneously, that Jesus “turned the stones to bread” in “We Are the World.”

I can’t commend him as a Christian. But I can commend praying for Willie Nelson that God would bless him and that he’d come “to know God, or rather to be known by God” (Gal 4:9). God rejoices over such things.

Plus, wouldn’t it be great to see the man who sings “Whiskey River Take My Mind” coming up out of a baptistery? Stranger things have happened (see Jacob…and Matthew…and Saul of Tarsus…and you…and me…).

We live in a fearful and cowardly time. The crisis we face is not a crisis of clarity but a crisis of courage.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Public Theologian at Christianity Today and Director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project.